My feed

to access all these features

Get updates on how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy by signing up to the Mumsnet Pregnancy Newsletters.


Sleeping on your side during pregnancy

12 replies

Paula1 · 30/07/2002 07:40

Does anyone know how important the advice is about sleeping on your side during pregnancy? I just can't do it, I usually sleep flat on my back, although I can just about fall asleep on my side I wake up either cramped and irritable a few hours later, or wake up on my back - and then I can't go back to sleep again, if i've slept on my side it's because i'm achey, if I wake up on my back its because i'm worrying about the damage I may have done to the baby!! Help - is it more important to get a good nights sleep or to sleep on my side?

OP posts:
chanelno5 · 30/07/2002 09:30

Paula1 - I think the general advice given is that from about 4 months, you should avoid sleeping on your back as the increasing weight of the pregnancy can put pressure on the blood vessels supplying the baby and also your legs, which may potentially cause problems. I really sympathise about not being able to find a comfy or atleast bearable sleeping postion when heavily pg. Have you tried propping yourself up with lots of pillows into a semi-sitting position? This would ease some of the weight off the blood vessels and also help with breathing. Or what about lying on your side with lots of pillows for support? I was most comfortable when lying on my side with a pillow under my bump and one between my knees. HTH.

nics1stbaby · 30/07/2002 09:40

Hi Paula1,

I too loved sleeping on my back, but I started getting bad back pain from early so I had to learn to sleep on my side. I do wake up a little each time I have to roll over to my other side - but I have kind of accepted that this is part of my pregnancy. I have been told that you shouldn't sleep on you back like chanelno5 says. My dh bought me a body pillow a couple of months ago (from CostCo - for about £15.00), hugging the pillow while you sleep on your side is really comfy.

Rhubarb · 30/07/2002 14:14

I agree with the pillow bit, but I wouldn't worry too much about it, I used to wake up on my back nearly every morning!

threeangels · 30/07/2002 14:23

I hated sleeping on my side. I too had to use a number of pillows. I always tried to sleep as much as possible on the side though because I felt it was much safer. I just tried to bear with it till it was all over. Usually i would end up on my back in the morning. Not much you can do about that. Hope you start getting more rest.

Joe1 · 30/07/2002 14:45

I too end up most of the time on my back, my favourite sleeping position. I do go to sleep on my side and try to stay there but I do tend to be more achy and get more cramp when I have laid on one side all night. I thought it was to take the pressure of your back etc. We are just going to buy a water bed so might get the benefit for a couple of weeks. Also if I wake on my back I tend to wake up unable to breath properly.

Paula1 · 30/07/2002 19:08

Thanks everyone, only 18 weeks.... so an awful long time to go yet

OP posts:
Bozza · 30/07/2002 21:42

I didn't mind too much sleeping on my side with a pillow under bump and between legs and several under head to aid breathing. The only problem was if I wanted to turn over it was like a military operation. Also had a problem with that ligament at the base of the spine/back of the pelvis which used to lock up and I couldn't move/get out of bed sometimes (not great for those early hours trips to the loo..)

ionesmum · 30/07/2002 21:43

I agree about the pillow tip. My g.p. told me that it is best to sleep on your side because sleeping on your back increases the chance of you fainting on getting up and therefore injuring yourself. Until I was very big, I woke up most mornings on my back and this didn't hurt the baby, but come the end I could only sleep on my side. It was bliss when dd appeared and I could finally lay on my tummy!

JanZ · 31/07/2002 14:33

At 18 weeks I was still sleeping on my back. I was still quite small at that stage though. I took the view that my body would tell me if it was wrong. By the end it did become uncomfortable to sleep on my back (although I did occasionally allow myself a short stretch in that position!).

I did "prepare" for sleeping on my side by swapping bed sides with dh. Since I read that it was better to sleep on your left side, and dh and I like occasionally to snuggle in the "spoons" position with him behind me, we swapped sides, so I slept on the left side of the bed.

Tetley · 31/07/2002 16:57

I've found in both my first pregnancy and in this one, that if I sleep on my left side I'm fine, but if I sleep on my right side then I'm likely to be sick very soon. I'm prone to heartburn & nausea in the evenings, and lying on my right side seems to emphasise this.
If I wake up in the middle of the night I can then usually lie on my right side (which is my prefered sleeping position when I'm not pregnant).
Anyone else had this? Or is it just me.....

Enid · 31/07/2002 17:16

tetley, maybe its the way the baby is lying. I actually feel much better on my right side, if I lay on my left (where the baby seems to spend most of its time), I'm soon burping like a trouper. I think its supposed to be 'optimal' to lay on your left side (something to do with blood flow??).

mears · 01/08/2002 01:36

At 18 weeks it really doesn't matter how you sleep as long as you are comfortable. As the pregnancy progresses you will find it uncomfortable to lie on your back. The problem arises in advanced pregnancy when lying on your back causes 'caval occlusion'which basicly means that the blood flow round the body is interrupted and you may faint due to the increased weight of the uterus on the inferior vena cava.
Don't worry unnecessarily about it - your body naturaly adopts suitable positions.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.